Three Steps to Start Using Web Analytics

Carnegie Higher Ed Aug 22, 2013 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Throughout admission season, it’s often helpful to measure the success of your recruitment efforts in real time. As you consider fine-tuning your enrollment management goals during this admission cycle, keep in mind this recent study by Google and Compete, which found nine in 10 enrolled students used the Internet to research higher education institutions during their college search. Needless to say, a prospective student’s journey through your school’s digital properties can provide an extraordinary level of insight and direction to your strategic conversations this fall.

The wealth of Web analytic data available isn’t a surprise to us, though, and we all understand that students do a lot of research online. It’s not a question of why or what, then, but how do we process the multitude of analytics available to us. If we look to improve enrollment strategies, how do we translate that information into actionable goals? On the heels of our recent analytics webinar (visit our Carnegie Connect resource for a recording), here are three quick tips to start you along the path of achieving your long-reach goals with Web analytics:

1.    Start Small: If you haven’t requested access to your school’s Google Analytics or Omniture accounts, ask your Web team for an invitation (don’t worry—it’s a quick and easy process). If you have access, familiarize yourself with the look and layout of your service. Brief tutorial videos exist to help you through this process, and YouTube is a fantastic resource for walkthroughs of your chosen platform.

2.    Set Goals: Once you’re feeling comfortable navigating within your account, pinpoint three to five goals that you’d like to achieve. Hypothetically speaking, imagine that you’d like to increase your Web traffic from a specific geographic location to promote a new campus.

3.    Implement Change: As a final step, consider strategies to assist with achieving incremental success against your goals. In situations similar to our hypothetical scenario above, we have worked with many schools to create display campaigns with outreach to a specified group of highly targeted geographic areas. After you’ve implemented new strategies, keep a close eye on the metrics you’d like to see improvement with.

To prevent information overload, block off one hour each week to progress through these steps. As time progresses, you’ll feel much more comfortable with the idea of Web analytics, and in the meantime, you’ll uncover insights that aren’t accessible elsewhere.

As always, we’d love to chat about your goals for this upcoming admission cycle. As you define those goals, consider our wide-range of integrated services to help refine your strategy at any point throughout your admission cycle. To generate ideas with industry-specific best practices, scan through our resources and register for one of our upcoming webinars. Throughout this process, we only have one request—reach out to us and share your successes along the way!

You can follow me on Twitter @jyoumell or on Google Plus as Jake Youmell.

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